Chili Lime Chicken Burgers & Homemade Buns

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Burgers always remind me of summer. Barbecue season, camping, etc. And even though it’s the middle of January, it’s been uncharacteristically warm in Calgary, so burgers (and even barbecuing, if I had one) are actually super reasonable. Even when they’re flavoured with lime and spices, making them even more summer-y. I think I need to buy a barbecue soon here, now that I think about it.

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These burgers are ridiculously easy, super light and healthy, and so, so flavourful. The buns, of course, take a little more work, but sometimes I just find myself in the mood to knead dough, you know? It’s actually kind of therapeutic (I can’t be the only one who feels this way…) If you’re not crazy , though, you could definitely just buy buns at the store, or even wrap these in some lettuce for an even lighter option.

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Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

Makes Four Burgers 

Adapted from Against All Grain

1 lb Ground Chicken

1/4 cup Red Onions, diced

1/4 cup Red Bell Peppers, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, minced

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 cup Lime Juice

1/4 tsp Red Chile Flakes

For serving: homemade buns, sliced avocado or guacamole, sliced tomato, mayonnaise, romaine lettuce, pepper jack cheese

1. Saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft.

2. Place all of the ingredients, including the cooked onion mix, in a medium bowl and use your hands to combine well. Divide and shape the meat into four patties.

3. On a barbecue or grill pan, cook for 6 minutes on each side, over medium heat, or until internal temperature registers 175 degrees.

4. Serve, and top with anything you like (but the avocado is super necessary!!)

Homemade Burger Buns

Makes 8 Burger Buns

Adapted from The Kitchn

1 tbsp Active-Dry Yeast

1/2 cup Warm Water

1/2 cup 2% Milk

1 large Egg

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 tbsp White Sugar

1 tsp Salt

3 cups All Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the yeast dissolves.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture, and whisk to combine. Add all of the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until it is roughly combined.  Take out the dough, and knead for 10 minutes, flouring your hands/working surface as necessary. The finished dough should be smooth, slightly tacky, and spring back when poked.

3. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about an hour until doubled in size.

4. Place the dough back on your floured work surface and divide the dough into 8 pieces, shaping each into a tight ball. Transfer the dough balls to a baking sheet and let rise until puffy and hamburger-sized, about 30 – 45 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter and brush it over the risen hamburger buns. Bake the buns until nice and golden, about 15 – 18 minutes. Allow buns to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Buns will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for a month or two.

Terrific Turkey Burgers

I have no idea why, but I have been craving turkey burgers. No, not a delicious, big, juicy beef burger – but turkey. Is that weird? As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t eat a ton of meat. This is partially taste preference, but it is mostly because I don’t have a whole lot of experience with cooking meat (also, meat is expensive and I’m feeling poor lately). I’m one of those people who has to cut into everything to make sure it is actually cooked, but usually end up overcooking it because I’m afraid of undercooking it. I know, silly. Told ya I was inexperienced. I should probably buy a food thermometer.

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While I would never mistake these for a beef burger, you gotta give them credit. Most turkey burgers end up being dry, chewy, and flavourless. These are different. I added in every ingredient I could think of (not kidding) to give them flavour and moisture. It worked. I enjoyed one of these for supper almost every day for a week (my life is super fun lately) and was actually totally satisfied and not even sick of them. And while they are obviously delicious with a bun and all the dressings, I mostly ate them plain (okay, I melted cheese all over them… shh).

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Yes, I know I’m lame for calling these “terrific turkey burgers” and I don’t normally add on unnecessary adjectives, but honestly just “turkey burgers” sounded so boring so in this specific case I felt that it WAS necessary. Plus, they are pretty darn terrific. And you see those pretty carrots? They are the most perfect side dish, but they deserve their own post (trust me) so you’re going to have to hold out for them!

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Terrific Turkey Burgers:

Makes 6 Burgers 

Adapted from Allrecipes

1 1/2 lb Ground Turkey

1/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1/2 a Yellow Onion, finely diced

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 Egg

1 tsp Dried Parsley

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp Soy Sauce

1 tsp Steak Seasoning

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Using your hands will probably work the best (I know, not my favourite thing either).

2. Form into 6 patties.

3. Cook the patties in a skillet over medium heat, flipping as necessary, for about 20 minutes. Serve hot!